Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday


“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” 
― G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Maundy Thursday




Origin of MAUNDY

ME maunde, fr. OF mandé, fr. L mandatum command, order; fr. the words spoken by Jesus to his disciples after washing their feet at the Last Supper,  Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” (John 13:34-35 MSG)




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lotta Love




There is a whole lotta love around these parts today!

First of all I have to give everyone a HUGE shout out for all your love and support after my big announcement yesterday! I pretty much had a goofy smile on so much of the day and it is because of all the love and cheers I got from everyone.

We are all so excited about the new job and the (eventual) move to the country and having this little space to share the news and celebrate is just icing on the cake.
So thank you to everyone who left post and comments and sent text wishing us the best of luck and welcomiing us into our new community (you know who you are :)

So THANK YOU to everyone who made our news that much more special!


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Tomorrow I will begin a series of Holy Week post to lead us into Easter, so today I thought I would just take a few minutes to do some housekeeping of sorts.

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One of my wishes for this year has been to find a few goodfit contributor spots on other blogs/online magazines where I can stretch myself a bit.  Having regular writing deadlines is hugely helpful and keeps me on my toes, and I enjoy the interaction and community that comes from writing for a different audience. 
The three topics that I want to find goodfit contributor oppurtuniies are:
Something related to living in the South
Something related to celebrating faith 
Something related to living in the messy-beautiful community that is family

The Patheo's Lenten Series, which ends tomorrow, has been a good fit under both, the celebrating faith and the messy-beautiful community catagories. Even though it was a short-run series, it was great to dip my toes into the practice of writing along the lines of one theme for an extended period of time.

Another catagory that I am excited to be taking on is my something about living in the South catagory I am now writing a weekly post for the Taste of Arkansas Blog - called Sunday Hospitality
(This weeks post is all about Hosting a Porch Sit.)
These post are not particularly deep or indepth, but they do allow me to post pretty pictures and plant seeds of hospitatlity (an often under-looked spiritual discipline btw) for readers. 


***************
The Homemade Year Birthday Celebration continues with Cookies and Ice Cream...


.

If you live local I hope you will come see me on April 26th at the Arkansas Lit Fest! I will be doing a family-friendly program at 4PM that will include yummy sweet treats from Sweet Love Bakes. The event is free for all!

*And if you have not checked out all the Homemade Love in our Linky Party, make sure to do so - I think Jeanetta is even giving away a copy of the book!*



Also, don't forget to snag a copy of A Homemade Year for Easter (you can get it in time for Easter if you order today!) Mother's Day, Wedding and Baby Shower gifts! 




Thank you again everyone for all your love and support.
On Friday this blog will be 8 YEARS OLD.
Amazing.
So grateful to have spent it with each of you!
Blessings-
J



Monday, April 14, 2014

The Wait is Over


Hello friends!
Well I know things got awfully quiet for awhile. 
That was because I was doing some heavy waiting and it was taking up all my mental, emotional, and physical energy.
Waiting is HARD y'all.
Waiting on life-changing news is especially hard.

But the wait is over.
And I am so excited about all the adventures that are ahead for our little family.
In July I will began work as the Lay Minister to Youth, Children, and Families for a wonderful church one town over.

This job is more than a job. It is a call. It is another piece (a rather large one at that) in the quilt of my vocation. It is an opportunity to live out my gifts in a tangible way.

It is also a new home.

I adore the church family that has called me and I am beyond honored to be able to serve them in this way. I know that the gifts they have for me far exceed the gifts I bring to them and so I am humbled and grateful for this invitation.

Sweet Man and the boys are also excited beyond measure. I honestly wasn't sure that the boys would be for this - as it will require a move in churches and houses - but their excited has been an extra dose of confirmation that this change is the right thing - for all of us.

And Sweet Man.
What can I say about this man?
Our marriage is as imperfect as anyone else's. It is full of bumps and learning curves and stretching - sometimes there is so much learning how to see the world through each other's eyes that it wears me to the nub as any other marriage.
But this man, this man is so supportive of me and my calling, of my career. Whether it is writing or speaking or ministering - he has never asked me to stop or told me that I cannot do it.
He is not threatened or embarrassed by me (except when I am bragging on him) and he never ask that I make myself smaller so that he can appear larger. 
I am so grateful to have such a loving, encouraging, supportive partner, who stands beside me on equal ground, holding my hand as we walk this journey -wherever it takes us- together.


So here we go.
The waiting is over.
Fresh starts are straight ahead.
A new job, a new book, and (eventually) a new home (we do have to sell our current one first..) are on the horizon.
And I could not be more excited.

Happy Monday friends!
I pray that if you are still in the Waiting season that you are filled with peace and amazing heaps of patience as you wait.
And that if you are in the Fresh Start phase that you are filled with joy and surrounded by a host of cheerleaders.

Much Love,
J








Friday, April 04, 2014

Seamless Faith - A Book for Families and a Giveaway for You




Just as a I am celebrating a year of having my first book in the world, Traci Smith is celebrating her book, Seamless Faith's birth!

A few months ago I got my first look at this great resource for families and I fell in love with this lovely guidebook for families.

The sections of the book are:

Traditions for Every Day  
Ceremonies for Marking Life’s Transitions
Ceremonies for Difficult Times
Traditions for Holidays
The Spiritual Practice of Prayer
Ancient Spiritual Practices
Other Spiritual Practices 

Each section is packed with practical, easy to use, sweetly written, relevant ways to connect families to faith. Traci has taken concepts that can get a little heady and brought them back down to earth with a fresh simplicity that is also touching and helpful.

Personal, I have already marked several ideas from both of the Ceremony chapters for our family, and I know that is just the beginning of how I will use this wonderful resource.

I think this book would be a great Easter, Mother's or Father's Day gift for families who are looking for the first steps into integrating faith into their families daily routines, and I think it would be an excellent Baby Dedication/Baptism Gift for families of any stream of Christian faith.

And to celebrate this books birth and my books birthday I am giving away TWO copies!
Who doesn't love party favors?

To enter just follow the links below!






"Faith is learned as it is woven seamlessly into the fabric of daily life. 
I don’t intend to ever sit down with my children and “teach” them 
about the importance of asking God for healing, but they will grow 
up with that belief as a part of their everyday experience. "


Congrats Traci on the book release! 







PS- Have you linked up with the Hokey Poky Homemade Year Linky Party yet?




Thursday, April 03, 2014

1 Year in the World: A Birthday Celebration


Guess what has had a lovely first year in the world?
A Homemade Year, that's what!

Hurrah!! 


What an amazing blessing this whole journey has been.
Each day I am so grateful for for each and ever one of you who has supported me, encouraged me on this exciting journey.
Knowing that this little book has touched hearts and homes is the best gift of the whole experience.

 I am continually humbled by the sweet words and response that people have to this book.
To be able to do something I love, to put my stories and ideas out into the world, and to have them honored with such loving and kind words never ceases to amaze me.

I can never thank each of you enough for all the encouragement, support, and cheering you have done for me and this little book over the last year!


But A Homemade Year's first birthday isn't just about me  - it's about all of you who are trying to find creative, joy filled ways to celebrate the Story of God in our homes, right where you are!

It is about each and everyone one of you who are honoring the creative spark that God has planted in your hearts,  and it is about how you are using that spark to sow Christ love to those in your homes and communities!

So let's celebrate, shall we?


*People!

To celebrate this fun birthday  I have asked several blogging friends to blog over the next month about what A Homemade Year has meant to them - what they love about it, what it has inspired in their hearts or home, or to just share a favorite image, recipe, or quote with readers.

y time I get an email or a comment about what AHY means to one of you I cannot help but tear up.

*Gifts!

There are also going to be several fun giveaways during the month long party!
I will be linking  these here on the blog, on the AHY Pinterest page, FB and Twitter each time a post goes live - so STAY TUNED!


*Activities!
How about we do a virtual Hokey Poky Linky? 

If A Homemade Year has meant something to you - if you have enjoyed a recipe, if you have read a sentence that captured an unspoken truth in your heart, if you love a certain image, if you have celebrated one of the holidays in the book, I would love for you to share about it here! 

Tell us, how you are celebrating faith and grace and beauty right where you are - no matter the messes, no matter the imperfections!

Link-up your post, send me pictures of you and your book to my Facebook page, or pin your favorite craft or recipe to the AHY page! 
I can't wait to see what you have been up to!

Again, thank you to each of you for being such great friends and readers!
Thanks for buying my book, giving it away, and sharing it - it means so very much to me!

Love always,
J


Wednesday, April 02, 2014

A little decorating project







One of the things I had to do during Spring Break was to finish a decorating job for a client from my design days. 
I only come out of retirement for Liz and her lovely log home.
She has been such a loyal client and good friend over the years that I can never say no when she calls, no matter how hard I try.
These a just a few pictures from my iPhone, snapped before I was completely finished, but they give you an idea of how things looked.
Not the best quality, but I am glad to have a small record of it.
It was a lot of fun to see it all come together at long last, and it was a lot of fun to venture back into this part of my past.  It's like exercising a muscle that you forgot you had, and it is comforting to know that I can still pull it off when needed.
 But it was also a lot of work (there was a complete kitchen remodel involved,) and I am glad to be finished with it!
Also I am glad that Liz and her husband are pleased - that is the best part of course.

So there you have it.
A little decorating project.

Much love
J

PS- Keep watch - there is going to be celebrating happening around here soon as we celebrate a certain books birthday!


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